Having read through a lot of reviews/comments about this album, I find the accepted view is, that it is a great album, comparable to their best and that this 'version' comes with some good, but not necessarily essential, bonus material.
Oh, and there are even some people who don't like it.
Well I actually count myself lucky that I only got this album recently because it means my view of it wasn't skewed by familiarity with its much shorter former incarnation. I actually played it as is, unaware that the additional tracks had not been part of the original release.
My impression was one astonishment. Why was this album not widely trumpeted as one of the greatest works of the sixties? Why was "Tommy" considered a better album? I was mystified. A double album(as it must have been judging by its length)of this quality would surely be included in all those 'Best Album...' lists.
The truly amazing thing is the way that, although it is not a 'concept album' the music fits together to create an incredible barrage of striking imagery that all coalesces perfectly to create a 'whole' that really is greater than the sum of its parts. One of the strengths of the album is the lack(!) of well known tracks(the only one I knew beforehand was 'I Can See For Miles' this gives the record a lovely 'balanced feel'.
I find it very strange, now that I am aware of the original track listing, to think that the album was ever released without 'Early Morning Cold Taxi', the stunning instrumental showcase 'Hall of the Mountain King' and perhaps the gem of the whole album 'Girl's Eyes'(a perfect and sympathetic depiction of the fixated fan/band relationship).
It isn't the easiest "Who" album to like(it took me a few plays before it started to 'click'), and in this form there is so much more to digest than before, but I would suggest it has the potential to be the most rewarding long term listen of all their albums.